It only took a few days to acclimate to Paris time and after a few bottles of good wine and some baguette it felt like I never left. I usually like to take a day trip or two outside of the city while I’m visiting, and this time was no exception. Paris is a great jumping off point for a number of cities in Europe, Brussels being just an hour and a half train ride on the TGV.
Yes, you read that correctly. An hour and a half! A quick look at Google maps shows that Brussels is about 306 km (~190 miles) from Paris. To put that in perspective — I live 80 miles north of New York City and the train from here to Grand Central takes longer than that. A quick calculation shows that we were moving, on average, about 126 mph. When the train is moving parallel to the highway and the cars that are going 75 mph look like they’re going 30 mph, you know you’re moving fast.
Ok, enough with the math. I had a very specific plan for Brussels that involved waffles, chocolate and beer. All together or separate, it didn’t matter. We arrived around 9:30 am with no map and no sense of where to go really, so we headed east from the train station, towards the Grand Platz and found a touristy waffle place for breakfast. I got a waffle with strawberries and bananas. Check. Eddy got a beer along with his waffle and may have had chocolate too, so he was doing it right from the start.
Why am I taking pictures of watermelon in Brussels? Because we definitely didn’t know where we were going at this point
After our excellent waffles we began looking for chocolate. This isn’t very hard in the Grand Platz, as there are chocolate shops everywhere. We stopped in a few and had some tastes.
It was a rainy morning In Brussels. After gorging ourselves on chocolate (which, apparently at 11 am is 4 pieces for me), we made our way down a Disney World smelling street only to encounter one of the most famous residents of Brussels, Manneken Pis. I don’t think anyone except those who live in Brussels understand why this little guy is so famous. A gift shop within eyeshot sold everything from miniature versions of the little guy to corkscrews where…you get the idea.
After getting showered with Brussels culture, we felt it time to indulge in (honestly) the real reason we came to Brussels. Belgian Beer! We found Delirium. With an extensive beer menu, this place was awesome. The skies cleared after lunch and we spent some time photographing in the Grand Platz and enjoying some more beer.
I don’t have many more Brussels photographs after this point…because, well, Belgian beer is strong. We found our hotel, which was a bar, checked in and headed back out. Some food, drinks and a couple more trips to Delirium and we were done for the night. Besides, we had a 9 am train to catch for Amsterdam in the morning…